I'm working on a program that will have a list of functions each of which, given an object, will return a particular property of the object. For instance, one of these will return the height of the object, another will return the width, another the color, and so on. These properties will then be used to filter these objects given a list of property names and values.

Since the user will be able to create functions like these, and they'll be on a list, I need to give a name to the list. One option I though of was "gatherers", since they gather properties given object, but this doesn't capture the fact that each of them gathers specific properties, or that they are meant to filter stuff.

Another option would be "filters" but these are not exactly filters, since a filter has a both property and a value (like WHERE TEXT = 'hello' in a SQL query), while these represent the property without a value, or more precisely, the ability to recognize the value of a particular property given an object.

Is there any single word, or at least couple of words, that capture this idea?

  • This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network: Computer Science. Jul 9, 2017 at 23:31
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    Don't know if it's in common usage, but I'm drawn to descriptor(s). Jul 10, 2017 at 7:56

2 Answers 2


You may use the noun collectors; and each "collector" picks up different "property".

Also, in object-oriented programming, the term setters and getters is used within a Mutator method. Please Check here if setters and getters is something suitable for naming your functions.


From the sound of it, you are trying to allow the user to create their own filter for the collection of objects, much like an advanced search feature in a search engine, and I think 'selector' fits well here, as it's being used to 'select' specific properties to be searched for. I included 'extractor' as well because your description left me a bit unsure about how exactly the properties were being chosen. Hope this has been helpful.

  • How about "characterizer" or "distinguisher"?
    – Juan
    Jul 9, 2017 at 20:32
  • Hmm. I may have misunderstood your question. Those two imply that you are comparing the properties of the objects before they are being searched for and/or filtered. If that's the case then those may be more applicable. I also like 'identifier'. Here's a good place to look for some synonyms as well.
    – Patrick
    Jul 9, 2017 at 21:19

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